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Miami Beach turns into world's epicenter of swimsuit fashion industry

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim begins today at the Raleigh Hotel

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Thousands of retailers, buyers and manufacturers were descending Thursday to Miami Beach to obsess over the swimwear industry. Models, celebrities and style setters were also expected.

IMG Fashion runs annual fashion events that attract designers like Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren and Yves Saint Laurent in major cities across the globe. But their only event for swimwear is in Miami Beach.  

The $3.5 billion-a-year-and-growing swimsuits business caters mostly to women who on average own two one-piece swimsuits and three two-piece swimsuits, according to the NPD Group.

Swimsuit designers will present the 2015 designs at the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim fashion shows.  

The first event is at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Raleigh Hotel. The first fashion shows are by designers Poko Pano and Dolores Cortes at 5 p.m. at the Raleigh Hotel's pool.

The SwimShow at the Miami Beach Convention Center begins Saturday and ends Tuesday. Organizers said that buyers from stores like Macys, Bloomingdales and Bergdorf Goodman rely heavily on the show to supply their stores.  

Download fashion show schedule for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim

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